Quite a bit of discussion going on here.
I did not know my "Dha thread" and sale on the swap had so much effect ;) :p (just kidding)
But seriously, It is quite clear why this thread started.
There are on occasion new members who only start threads for apprasion and than put them in the swap forum shortly after.
I have seen them come, but also see them go...
Maybe you could implement some system where you have to be an active member for a certain time before you are allowed to post items in the swap ?
These seekers of fortune probably won't have time and energy to actively join his forum without generating sales.
I really like the way this discussion has developed.
It's not quite the way I thought it might run when I started the thread, and I am a little disappointed that more people have not let us hear their opinions, but the opinions that have been given I personally, value.
I'm sorry for my misunderstanding of your intent in respect of David's "nice keris" comment.
I understood David's comment in one way, you understood it in another.
It can be quite difficult to transfer meaning and intent clearly and concisely in writing, not infrequently we miss a message that in face to face conversation would be very clear. For this reason I feel that a few extra words at the outset can avoid the need for additional words later. I'd be the first to admit that I tend to overdo this approach a little, but it is much easier and faster to write than it is to think.
I believe it was Mark Twain who apologised to friend :- " I'm sorry for writing such a long letter, but I didn't have time to write a short one."
The points you have made have merit, but I do think that David and Rick have provided the answers that will address the concerns that some of us have in respect of misuse of this Forum.
Yes, you've identified the exact question that needs clarification:-
"The question basically is then what is the reason for the forums existence?"
I think that Rick and David have now provided this clarification, and its pretty much as I understand it myself.
But you have raised a question that I would like to comment on a little further, and that is the place of appraisal and valuation in this forum.
Appraisal has two meanings. It can mean to assess quality, or it can mean to assess value. In the case of an assessment of quality that is one of the reasons for the existence of this forum.
It is often a bit difficult to assess quality of a keris from photos, and speaking for myself, I often find that when I look at photos of a keris I am filling in details that are not clear from the photos , by reference to my knowledge of that type of keris or workmanship. This is a very defective way of giving an appraisal, but its the best we can do from photos, and I will usually add the caveat of " based upon what I think I can see in these photos".
But when we come to the assessment of value, the difficulties multiply many, many times.
Value is directly related to the price that is placed upon an object. It doesn't mean precisely the same thing as price, but when you get right down to it an appraisal of value is an answer to the question :-
"how much should I pay ( or ask) for this object?"
This answer depends upon a multitude of factors which can be split into specific segments, for example:- rareity, state of preservation, age, type, quality of workmanship, present geographical location, market bouyancy---etc, etc, etc.
In respect of a keris many of the factors within the segments relating to the physical qualities of a keris can only be adequately addressed if we have the keris in hand. An error made in assessment of age or origin of any component part of a keris could have a massive impact upon the value, and thus the price that can be reasonably paid for the keris. This might not matter much when we are talking about keris that are worth only a few hundred dollars, but when we start to look at higher level pieces an error in appraisal can result in a considerable loss to the seller (or buyer).
Geographic location of a keris is another important factor in affixing an estimate of a reasonable price.
Lets say I see an absolutely wonderful piece advertised by a UK dealer. As a collector I want that piece, and because of where it is I know that I cannot bargain for the same price as I would if I were in a street market in Indonesia. So I am prepared to pay what I consider to be a reasonable price from a UK dealer. This would be a totally unreasonable price in almost any other place on the planet, but because of where it is I need to adapt my standards, depending on how much I want it.
So if somebody asks how much something is worth, it really comes down to how much the buyer is prepared to pay, and that will vary according to circumstances, one of the circumstances being the location of the object.
As an extreme example of the application of this philosophy to collecting, I know one collector of keris and other weaponry who only buys from Ebay. He's got a massive collection. He uses sniping software and puts in an extremely low bid on everything that takes his fancy. Most of his bids fail, but when he wins he buys very, very cheap. I won't comment on the quality of his collection, but it is very, very big. And the thing is this:- this man has never paid a single penny more than he was prepared to pay for any item in his collection.
So, for me, appraisal of value, when that appraisal is based on photos, and most particularly when the appraisal is published for all the world to see is something that I simply would not do. It could damage my reputation immeasurably. But giving opinions to friends by private email is a completely different matter.
Re your proposals:-
2)--- agree in principle, but I would prefer a longer wait period, perhaps 3 months
I believe that your comments should have clarified any question as to the purpose of this Keris Warung Kopi, and I cannot disagree with anything that you have said.
I think we might be getting somewhere with this matter. Maybe it has already been settled, but before we set anything in concrete, could we wait a little while to give others who may have a point to make a chance to provide their opinions?
Absolutely , I would like to hear from everyone .
About point one:
my thought is, if there are unethical dealers, there must be also unethical buyers. There is a saying: every human has his price, and these prices are different.
Other thing is, to be a policeman is not good for every character (even to be a teacher is not good for every character).
About point two:
Since Alan has experience with this subject, keris dealing, so I think his proposal (three months) is to be taken in earnest. It is a big difference.
(For me it is clear, there absolutely cannot be discussions about direct material value or appraisals. )
Of course not Detlef, that is because you haven't done anything bad. There is currently no rule in place that says this is so. Rick simply put this idea out and asked for comments so we are discussing it. So your action was completely innocent. Unfortunately others members regularly do this as a method to sell their keris forcing us to consider this new rule. If there was such a rule in place you just wouldn't be able to post about your sale on the Swap Forum for 30 days. This would not keep you from selling it anyplace else, just on the forum site where you had just had an indepth thread with comments about the keris. I don't think that is all that unreasonable a request. After 30 days you are free to put it up in Swap if you haven't already sold it in one of the many other venues you could have sold it through in the meantime.
That is a good idea Willem, in fact it is one that has already been in discussion among the moderators group and has not been dismissed AFAIK.
Asomotif, I really do like that "active member" suggestion.
The swap facility in this site is something very valuable for non-dealers, as I see it. In fact, I don't like the idea of anybody who is a dealer on any level being involved in it at all.
A while back I gave lengthy consideration to using this swap facility myself, but I decided that for me as an experienced dealer to contribute to the forum discussions, and at the same time offer things in the Swap Forum was much too close to being a conflict of interest situation, thus I have never placed any articles for sale in that Forum, and I think only once did I place a link there to my site.
I would like to see the Swap Forum kept solely for the use of collectors, and those of us who are dealers on any level, either a hobby dealer as in my case, or a full-time professional dealer as in some other cases, stay out of it, and let the pure collectors trade between themselves.
The "active member" rule might not be exactly what I would like, but it would go a long way towards cleaning up the content of the Swap Forum.
As for your proposal's my comments go as follow:
2. Agree but would also like to see a 90 day period
As for the just added proposal "active member" I realize the good it would do, I am however concerned with my own status. Please define active?
this. but make it 90 days per gustav
this should apply to other areas as well...
Even for a seldom traveller on this side of the fence, this certainly sounds reasonable and yes, per concensus 90 days sounds better.
Yes, we must define 'Active Member' Erik but I don't think you have to worry . ;) :)
Anyone want to offer criteria for discussion of what makes an active member ?
Also, I would like to re-state ; if implemented these rules would only apply to the Warung members and only to keris related selling.
A minimum of 150 posts of which ten have been initiated by the person and that for the most parts do not contain speed-posting to boost the post account. By speed-posting I mean postings consisting mainly of
The number (150) may appear big at first but it is in the interest of both the potential buyer and seller to have had enough exposure to the unwritten "DOs & DO NOT´s" of the forum until he puts himself and his reputation at risk publicly. We all know one can loose his virginity only once and same goes for reputation within such a small pond which the keris collectors pond truly is.
If you want a high standard you must set the bar accordingly.
Whoa, this is a HOT subject! :)
Just as a caveat - I have no issues with dealers joining the forum, as long as their identity and intention is made clear to everyone. We all have trusted dealers whom we are friends with. Everything is above the board for these guys, and we appreciate that.
However, I am put off by dealers who disguise themselves as interested collectors, bearing ulterior motives. Must admit that I was the victim of such a character a few months back, here in Singapore. I was asked to visit the said person's home to look at his collection and share some opinions. That was a bad mistake, but it was entertaining how he twisted and turned his view on keris (from esoteric emphasis to cultural/history/art) to fit my views on keris-collecting. :) He also insisted on seeing my collection - which I firmly refused - because he wanted to take photos of my kerises (for what purpose I wonder :rolleyes: ). He even pretended to take down some notes of my comments on why his newly-made kerises were not 'correct'. It was also very funny to burst his hot air balloon on some of his "magical" kerises which could stand by themselves (I balanced more than a few of his "magical" and "non-magical" kerises in front of him).
Anyway, my encounter was funny because the person was neither sophisticated nor knowledgeable in keris; he made a fool of himself. But had it been some else who knows his stuff, it would have been a lot harder to call the bluff.
Drawing the analogy to the forum, there are some such disguised dealers who are easy to spot. Others may not be. Some really ask questions in such details that we would have thought they were one of us. Some dealers also 'don't cr*p where they eat', to put it crudely, using the forum only as a source of info and reference. These are the bad dealers that are hardest to uncover.
However, I agree that some form of new rules would be better than no rules, and those proposed by Rick are good. I just wonder who is going to keep tabs on the 90days rule since a lot of new threads could have come and go in that period.
How about this - we can also look at a peer rating system in which fellow forumnites vote whether a fellow member is a "positive contributing member", or a possible "dealer in disguise" (there can be other categories/levels). This could require some tinkering of the forum programming. Votes can be given by each certified positive contributing member for every thread/post put up by any forumnite (members can only cast 1 vote for each post, once). Voting is anonymous. Accumulating a number of votes in certain categories would earn the poster that positive contributor or dealer in disguise tag. To prevent the rating system from being abused as a "political weapon" by factions/cliques/groups (which I don't think there are), I propose that the votes are only visible to moderators who can choose to endorse or ignore the tag. If endorsed, the tag appears below the member's avatars in every of their post/thread. To combat the possibility of the DiDs creating new IDs all the time, new IDs may be given the "stranger" tag or something, just to raise everyone's alert. The tags can be renamed to be more politically correct, but I'm just throwing up ideas.
I know this forum software features a reputation points option .
I don't know if it can be turned on for only one forum . :shrug:
I have real concerns about enabling it due to possible abuse .
I also think (however attractive) the 90 day prohibition would involve a lot of Moderator work trying to enforce this timeline properly .
I think the New Member designation is a very good idea .
Using this feature we could control the amount of posts needed to become a full member . When the designation changes, the newly graduated member can sell keris on the site .
Keep 'em coming Gentlemen . :)
In my experience and opinion there are only two ways to handle the €€€ question.
Commercialism either is completely acceptable and everything about it transparent or it either is completely unacceptable meaning that all violations despite how minimal against this principle must be met ruthlessly. Anything other in between these two opposing ends can and certainly will lead to problems and an ever increasing amount of innumerable rules followed by more rules. I hope that those in command choose the easy way out and set out a simple principle which against all action is judged upon instead of writing a book of laws and by-laws.
What we need is a simple principle, common sense, transparency and equal treatment of everybody never mind you status, rank, age or post count. I do not propose the idea of peer ranking as it will put people in unequal situation and lead to politics that would be contrary to what this place is set to be for(?).
I think we might be getting close Jussi .
I too would like to keep this as simple as possible, really ... :)
A couple or three bright line rules .
Thanks for your input .
I'm pretty much booked up for today, and will not have time to comment or read any more posts until tomorrow, but one post in the above caught my attention immediately, the one by Jussi.
Jussi, I strongly agree with and support this philosophy you have tendered.
I generally agree with Jussi.
The one thing I would add is that the rules need to include some information about how you are planning to enforce them. Your response to my hypothetical was a good one, because it showed how such rules would work in practice. This could probably be folded under the rubric of "transparency."
As for equality and transparency, that's good. I think it's also reasonable to ask people to make a minimum commitment, such as a certain number of posts, as part of joining a community of equals who can use the swap forum. Most communities have entrance requirements, and we're not banning them from posting elsewhere.
Thanks for your input Fearn . :)
I've contacted Lee to see if the software will allow certain functions for this forum only .
I am glad that Alan has brought this issue up. I have often thought about it myself, and it is quite complicated when it comes to enforcing strict rules, as the problem often comes down to original intent, and intent is a very difficult thing to determine without the ability to read minds.
Let me start by stating that I like the Swap Forum as part of this portal. It is definitely not the main reason I visit here, but I like the idea that if a member wishes to part with an item he or she no longer desires, the rest of us would get a chance at it. I believe in one or two instances, the items I bought through the Swap Forum had been discussed in the main discussion forums (but not immediately preceding their posting for sale).
With this said, I do not mind even those members, who are here solely as dealers. The reason is, as a collector I need dealers, and I actually like to have access to their items here as well.
What I do not like, however, is when an item is posted for discussion, without the poster acknowlidging his intention to sell. As discussed before, there should not be a problem when a regular collector decides to part with an item after receiving comments on it. The issue, if I understand correctly are the cases in which a dealer tries to disguise his real intentions only to abuse the collective knowledge in these forums.
Those cases leave a bad taste, because we feel deceived, and I often find myself unwilling to comment on certain items, as I suspect that the poster is just gathering info to help with a sale.
It would be great therefore that posters, who are contemplating the sale of the item they put up for discussion, simply specify so. Obviously, there will be exceptions, but I think it is common sense that if a poster regularly posts items for comments only to have a "change of heart" shortly thereafter, this would constitute a breach of the rules.
I also want to suggest another rule - since potential sellers would benefit from the knowledge others will share with them pertaining to their item, they should probably give back to the forum community. The simplest way to do this would be to list the item here, in the swap forum first, for at least a week. If it does not sell, then I would not mind them looking at other options, but I feel it is only fair to give a first chance to the other members here, as a token of gratitude for all the info received.
Thank you Teodor; I agree with much of what you have said ; especially the idea of exclusive pre auction time here regarding kerises . :)
Speaking for myself, I would dislike to see 'keris for discussion(and quick sale)' posted in the Warung .
This is not what the Warung is about .
Our up front Dealer/Member/Contributors of many years standing all know that . :)
If one wishes to use the Warung for gathering information and, (after a decent amount of time) decides to part with the keris discussed then I have no problem with that .*
*Links to (or quotes from) the discussion (in any venue) will still have to be approved by authors of pertinent posts in that referenced thread .
Using Alan's sports analogy. I think they should have a "open" Olympics where not only professionals, but, also any performance enhancing agents found are allowed. Let anybody who wants to watch that, go right ahead. All will be on the same footing. They should continue the regular Olympics with the original values, where anyone found cheating should be banned for life with a penalty to the hosting nation so they put a real effort into preventing it from happening.
Likewise I would like to see a subforum of the swap. Here anyone who wants info on a for sale or a soon to be for sale item can post. Contributers who want to contribute real or fraudulent information can go for it. Anybody found using the regular forum for this activity should be banned to sword forum international for life.
My 2 cents.
Thanks Jeff .... :shrug:
I think . :confused: ;)
I agree on a moratorium: 3 months seem ok to me; 1 month is a bit short. (Make it months from the day of posting - there will always be some who inadvertently mess up counts by a day or two...)
I believe any new rules should apply to all EAAF fora - fishing for information to promote sales is not limited to keris and I believe the same standards should apply to the whole community here. (I believe this has been the intention in setting up and maintaining this wonderful resource - please correct me if I got it wrong, Lee!)
As already pointed out, it's fairly easy to spot repeated commercial behavior on this site; however, I'd be more concerned with info gained here and (ab)used elsewhere (ebay, etc.). Thus, if any info gained here were to be utilized freely elsewhere, I'd still need to frame my answers here on the forum accordingly (not different from the current situation). IMHO the moratorium should apply to all venues. We would certainly miss some offending sales; however, I'm confident that repeated offenders will get caught by the community.
I'm not yet sure how to deal with honest change-of-heart situations as pointed out by Detlef. There are also newbies who would like to get info on inherited pieces or souvenirs. Some realize that collecting is not their thing and decide to sell off the piece under discussion (many just prefer a little cash or want to get rid of the tourist trinket but there are also those who realize that a valued family heirloom may be better cared for in a specialized collection and may even aid research). I'm not convinced that imposing the moratorium in those cases would be sensible.
How about another subforum dedicated to identification of unknown, weird, and possibly-for-sale pieces? Comments in such a subforum could be considered free to utilize for possible future sale and answers framed accordingly by those choosing to give advice. I could also envision that threads posted in any of the other fora could be moved to this special "quarantine section" once the thread starter has acquired permission from all contributors. Moreover, it would seem suitable to me to be able to move an identification thread over to the swap forum (shouldn't be noticeably more work for the moderators, I guess). This would also allow an exclusive offering in the swap forum before a seller decides to move on to other venues (if such a separate - possibly 1 week - moratorium is deemed preferable). IMHO it should also be possible to move an identification thread over to the more pertinent subforum if the owner decides to keep it in his collection (for the next 3 months) and would like to get more detailed discussion.
In short: In-depth discussion of pieces deemed to stay in the own collection in the major subfora (Ethnographic Weapons, Keris Warung Kopi, European Armoury), offers and trades in the Swap Forum, and a flexible Identification Resource to fill the gap in between.
BTW, I still feel that keris sundang (Moro kris) and tombak (and rencong, and badek, etc.) should be an integral part of the Keris Warung Kopi. Arguably, it would make much more sense to include all stuff from the SEA archipelago (Malay culture in a very wide sense) here. Yeah, just nagging... ;)
Thanks for you comments Kai. I think some of it tends to get too complex and i am not sure that opening up other forums to deal with appraisals is really the way to go here. I know that all this talk get people worried about severe daconian rules, but i think that what Rick and i have in mind will in the end be the most simple solutions we can find to a rather complex issue.
Personally i am opposed to extending a moratorium on the sale of forum discussed items beyond the virtual walls of our little forum. As i mentioned before, i don't think it is our obligation or right to police the entire internet in these cases. My concerns are what goes on in our own backyard, the abuses that are happening right here. If someone decides to sell a keris on eBay even immediately after getting information from his thread on our forum that's fine with me as long as he does not quote any member's comments in his auction, make any allusion to his keris being "approved" or "validated" by our keris forum and he places no notice of his sale on eBay (or elsewhere) in our Swap Forum for at least 30 days.
Members who have an "honest change-of-heart" have numerous other venues to dispose of their unwanted keris other than our Swap Forum, ones that have a much larger audience than us as well. Detlef should feel no remorse for his actions because no such rule exists as of yet and he did not transgress in any way. But once a rule is in place however members will know differently. :)
I do not post in the keris forum,but I do in the other forums. I am a dealer and a collector for many years, but I do not post items that I am going to sell in the discussion forums only items that are from my personal collection. The use of the forum as a catalog or as a sales advertisement has been happening with more frequencey the last few years. The result being that I do not respond to post very often any more. Why should I do a dealers research for him ?
I'm not a frequent poster here but I greatly enjoy the site and am the "new collector" type discussed above. I am also a moderator on another forum so know well how difficult it is to enforce sweeping policies, particularly if there is a time component to them. I really appreciate the easy going helpful atmosphere of EAA and strongly support your desire to keep shills and exploitative activity away.
It occurs to me that the member base fanatically watches all of the internet accessible sources for ethnographic weapons and little goes on in that arena that members here won't observe. You could simply set a policy that members are not authorized to use EAA for appraisals for items slated for sale and that such activity will result in a ban. The member base will take care of monitoring and reporting suspected abuse. At least on the forum I moderate on, members are more than happy to report rule violations.
I would caution against setting up a policy with time limits. As others mentioned it is usually pretty easy to tell the difference between a dealer using the EAA as an appraisal resource from collector deciding to flip a piece. Suspected violators could be contacted via PM with a warning. If their behavior continues, then the ban is applied. Problem solved.
There has been some good, solid input to this discussion.
Its great to see such a reaction on a topic which affects us all.
I endorse completely Rick's and David's declared intention to keep things simple.
I can understand David's stance that what happens outside the bounds of this site are not the concern of the people who regulate activity on this site. In fact, this was my own attitude at the outset of this discussion, however I am no longer certain that this attitude is the desireable one. It is certainly the most simple attitude to adopt, but I do have a problem with covert dealers extracting information to use in a sales pitch in another place.
Let me state up front that this would make not the slightest difference to me, because I do not buy in the same places that collectors buy. I have only ever bought two keris from Ebay , and both were keris that I had previously sold. I have never bought from the Swap Forum.
However, if a covert dealer extracts information by use of this Forum to assist his sales pitch, and thus the price realised, of an item he wishes to sell, he is in fact using the information supplied by collectors against those collectors.
I consider this to be unethical behaviour.
Ward has already pointed this out and said that it is the reason he no longer posts comment very often.
Think about this:-
all knowledge costs money and time to acquire
if a collector passes that knowledge on to somebody he regards as a fellow collector, he is giving that fellow collector a gift of his time, money, indeed of his life
if he passes the knowledge to a dealer who has posed as a collector in order to gain the knowledge, and who then uses that knowledge to increase the price of something he wishes to sell, then in my view, the dealer has stolen the knowledge from the collector; he has obtained the knowledge by deception.
in short:- the dealer has acted in an unethical fashion.
I believe that this Forum should attempt to assist its members by a policy of identifying unethical behaviour by dealers. I am not suggesting for one moment that such dealers should be identified openly. Nobody wants potential issues for litigation. But I am suggesting that unethical dealers should be denied the fellowship of this Forum. Keep them out.
Now the question is this:-
how do we identify a dealer?
to my mind the answer is simple:-
The relevant question could take a bit of thought to frame in an adequate fashion, but it could be done.
If a member states that he is not a dealer, and then demonstrates dealer-like behaviour he should be asked to explain, and if the explanation is inadequate, action should be taken against him.
Where a known dealer has acted in an unethical fashion that dealer should be asked to explain and if the explanation is unsatisfactory then action should taken against him.
All of this may sound complicated and possibly draconian, however in action it need not be. I believe that with thought, a simple administrative system could be put in place that would involve absolutely minimal work for our moderators and would return immeasureable benefits to our members.
On the other hand, if things continue as they have been, how many more collector/dealers like Ward, and I also fall into this category, will simply say:- "enough is enough, I'm not passing my knowledge along to other dealers". If this happens the pure collectors here will suffer great loss, because in general, dealers have access to more knowledge than people who do not deal.
PS--- I was about to post the above, and noted the post by Dizos. What he has written is very close to what is in my mind.
Just to clarify: the proposed Identification Forum was mainly intended for identification of "unknown" pieces - I think it would make sense to unite the combined knowledge of our members in a single dedicated subforum. For example, I'm not able to visit the European subforum often due to limited time and only check out threads which seem of interest; thus, I'd be unlikely to stumble over a Filipino dagger which may have been posted there for identification. For newcomers it's obviously quite tough to choose the "correct" forum to solicitate responses and also seasoned collectors have placed pieces in wrong fora. Of course, we can just shuffle threads around if needed - however, a dedicated subforum for identification seems to have advantages IMHO and would certainly be more user-friendly for new members.
Well, we can't stop anyone selling anything. However, if there were a consensus that a self-imposed rule seems to be beneficial to our community, then it should be no problem to state that not following the rules is incompatible with membership here. As Dizos mentioned, nobody expects the moderators to "police" the internet; blatant breaches of conduct will be soon spotted by the community though.
The main problem with exploiting information gained here is that the information won't be supplied anymore and this affects the whole community adversely: It doesn't matter where the sale is taking place. If we wan't to promote communication and gaining knowledge, I believe we can't restrict our efforts to the Swap Forum only.
I agree that communication with a perceived offender may be preferable over applying strict rules carved in stone. Sometimes it may be more a matter of getting acquainted to the rules and ethics of our community rather than deliberate misconduct since we're coming from fairly diverse socio-cultural backgrounds.
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